Environmental Civil Remedies

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California Court of Appeal Partially Upholds Air Quality Thresholds of Significance Following State Supreme Court Decision

In a published decision, following the Supreme Court’s decision in California Building Industry Association v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District (2015) 62 Cal.4th 369, the First District Court of Appeal upheld...more

Court’s Tentative Decision Sides in Favor of DOGGR in CBD’s Wastewater Injection Lawsuit

As reported in a previous blog post, Earthjustice, on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity (“CBD”), filed a lawsuit against the California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) in May 2015. The...more

Lesson of Ninth Circuit CERCLA Decision: Prepare to Prove Recoverable Costs

On June 13, 2016, the Ninth Circuit held that a party which has settled its liability pursuant to a CERCLA section 1071 cost recovery claim may recover any response costs not covered by the settlement under CERCLA section...more

Forecast is Hazy For EPA’s Regional Haze Oversight Authority

Earlier this month, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed EPA’s disapproval of the Texas and Oklahoma regional haze state implementation plans, as well as EPA’s promulgation of its own federal implementation plan. The...more

California’s Precondemnation Right of Entry Statutes Upheld — With a Slight Judicial Tweak

For the last two-plus years, we have been waiting for guidance from the California Supreme Court on whether public agencies could utilize the statutory “right of entry” procedure to gain access to private property to conduct...more

US Circuit Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit delays oral arguments in Clean Power Plan litigation

On May 16, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit announced that it was delaying scheduled June 2 oral arguments before a three-judge panel in litigation over the Clean Power Plan. Instead, the DC...more

Safety, Health and Environment Matters - Spring/Summer 2016

Following the outcome of a so-called Brexit referendum it is clear that a significant period of uncertainty will follow while this country works out its new trading arrangements with fellow European countries and the rest of...more

Higher Fines Imposed for Environmental Offences

Powerday plc was issued a record fine in April this year for offences relating to operations involving over 17,000 tonnes of waste deposited and stored illegally. Powerday – one of the biggest waste-management companies in...more

Court Enjoins Wolf Releases in New Mexico

The United States District Court for the District of New Mexico issued an opinion and order enjoining the United States from releasing captive-bred wolves within the State of New Mexico without first obtaining importation and...more

5th Circuit Vacates Verdict for ExxonMobil in CAA Citizen Suit: Still Not Much of a Win for the Plaintiffs

Last Friday, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a District Court decision which had refused to impose penalties on ExxonMobil for various violations of the Clean Air Act at ExxonMobil’s Baytown refinery. While the...more

Compliance Audits as part of Environmental Due Diligence - It’s more than just a Phase

When Borrowers and their lenders think about environmental due diligence, they immediately focus on Phase I/Phase II/ Environmental Site Assessments. That’s a good thing, and is an essential requirement when acquiring real...more

EPA Region III Assesses Largest Superfund Stipulated Penalty Ever

The Rodale Manufacturing facility in Emmaus, Pennsylvania was added to the National Priorities List in 1991 after more than 50 years of electrical component manufacturing. Operations at the facility included electroplating,...more

Environmental Notes - May 2016

The news has been full of stories and articles concerning Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR), also referred to as coal ash. CCR became a hot topic in 2008 when a coal ash pond at a utility plant in Tennessee spilled more than 5...more

Three Strikes and the Commonwealth Is Out: The Natural Gas Act Preempts Article 97

Last week, Judge John Agostini ruled that the Natural Gas Act preempts Article 97 of the Massachusetts Constitution, which otherwise would have required a 2/3 vote of the Legislature before Article 97 land could be conveyed...more

Colorado Court Strikes Down Local Fracking Bans that Conflict with State Law

On May 2, 2016, the Colorado Supreme Court issued opinions in two separate cases challenging local bans on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). A win for the oil and gas industry in the state, the Supreme Court held that the...more

OSHA Enforcement in the Final Year of the Obama Administration

Although the Obama Administration is well into its last year, it is signaling no let-up in its aggressive environmental and occupational safety and health enforcement agendas. Indeed, continuation of or even more stringent...more

I Wish for a Happy Earth Day

April 22nd marked Earth Day, an annual celebration of environmentalism. The headline event of Earth Day 2016 was having 175 countries sign the Paris Agreement, which represents a global commitment to reducing greenhouse gas...more

Texas Court of Appeals Issues Important State Superfund Order

In a “case of first impression,” U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit,texascapitol sitting in Austin, in TCEQ v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al., issued an important decision interpreting the scope of the Texas Solid...more

We Are Just Getting Started: EPA Issues Much Anticipated Cleanup Plan for the Lower 8.3 Miles of the Lower Passaic River

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) recently issued the Record of Decision (“ROD”) for the lower 8.3 miles of the Lower Passaic River, which sets forth EPA’s $1.38 billion remedy. Potentially Responsible...more

Clean Power Plan - Work Continues Despite Stay

Even though the U.S. Supreme Court has stayed the implementation of EPA’s Clean Power Plan, planning continues at the state level on carbon emission reduction strategies. ...more

EPA Investigates Alabama State Environmental Agency for Alleged Violation of Civil Rights Act

In an unprecedented action, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is investigating the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), one of its state counterparts, for alleged civil rights violations under Title...more

Energy Sector Alert Series: Appellate Courts Hearing More Energy Cases

In this eight-week alert series, we are providing a broad look at current and emerging issues facing the energy sector. Attorneys from across the firm will discuss issues ranging from environmental disclosures and risk...more

Polluter Still Pays: BC Court of Appeal Upholds Award of Damages Against Historical Polluter

The British Columbia Court of Appeal upheld a lower court decision ordering ICI Canada Inc. (now PPG Architectural Coatings Canada Ltd) to pay $4.75 million in remediation costs following a trial which enforced the “polluter...more

“Citizen Suits” Under China’s Revised Environmental Protection Law: A Watershed Moment In Chinese Environmental Litigation?

A little over a year ago, on January 1, 2015, China’s amended Environmental Protection Law (“EPL”) went into effect, representing a significant aspect of China’s concerted effort to place greater emphasis on environmental...more

“Waters of the U.S.” Rule Still Subject to Nationwide Stay, For Now

Would you consider this a “Water of the United States” subject to the Clean Water Act? Well think again, because under a new rule, even a dry streambed or channel could be considered a “Water of the U.S.” and thus...more

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